Clouds blotted the sun in Boulder today. Normally, that would have been enough to keep me in my apartment. But I’m not normal any more.
I am addicted to seeing and photographing the beauty of nature. Earlier, I thought that beauty appeared only in bright sun. One picture and one book taught me otherwise.
The picture was the one I took of the lower Crater Lake on Friday. Even though it was the only shot I made in overcast weather that day, it was the best.
The book was John Fielder’s Photographing the Landscape: The Art of Seeing, which I finished reading this afternoon. He takes most of his great photographs just before or just after first light and some just before or just after sunset.
He takes few during the rest of the day, when the light is usually too stark, especially here in Colorado, where he does most of his great work. Those that he shoots during the day are when clouds soften the scene.
That was all I needed to grab my camera and my boots and head out the door early this evening. I went back to the Fowler Trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park because it’s both close and beautiful.
It’s the trail where I always take visitors, and I was planning to take my friend Andrew Young there today after his 130-mike bike ride from Telluride to Moab. But he called about noon to say that he had strep throat, and we decided to get together another time. I am hoping to visit him in Santa Monica this winter.
The short, easy Fowler Trail did not, however, give me the chance to shot in overcast weather this evening. The late afternoon sun broke through as I arrived.
I did make good use of another important tip that I learned today from John Fielder’s book. Always shoot landscapes in aperture-priority mode, he wrote. While I always make my close-ups of flowers and insects in that mode, so that the background will be in soft focus, I didn’t know that about landscapes.
For years I have marveled at the huge rock slides above the Fowler Trail. They are hard to capture with a camera, but this shot today is the closest I have come to pleasing me.
After one last look homeward, I returned to my apartment.